If you, like many small business owners, need a business counselor to help guide you through this uncertain time, you can turn to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or SCORE mentorship chapter. These resource partners, and the associations that represent them, are receiving additional funds to expand their reach and better support small business owners with counseling and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
Charles County small businesses should contact the following local branches:
In addition, the Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Centers (MBDCs), which cater to minority business enterprises of all sizes, will also receive funding to hire staff and provide programming to help their clients respond to COVID-19. Contact the Minority Business Development Agency for more information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
QUESTION: Do I have to pay for counseling and training through SBDCs and MBDCs?
ANSWER: Counseling is free and training is low-cost with these partners. The additional funds that Congress provided will help keep this possible. Mentorship through SCORE is always free.
QUESTION: What is an SBDC?
ANSWER: SBDCs are a national network of nearly 1,000 centers that are located at leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies, and private partners. They provide counseling and training to new and existing businesses. Each state has a lead center that coordinates services specifically for that state.
QUESTION: What is SCORE?
ANSWER: SCORE provides free, confidential business advice through their volunteer network of 10,000+ business experts. You can meet with a mentor online.
QUESTION: Who do MBDCs serve?
ANSWER: MBDCs are a good option for minority-owned businesses (including those owned by Black, Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and American Indian business owners), especially those seeking to penetrate new markets — domestic & global — and grow in size and scale.